With the consistent evolution of consumer behavior in our digital age, marketers and advertisers must adopt new techniques to captivate and engage their target consumer. Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming one of the most highly sought-after marketing channels. It is bridging the gap between the digital and physical world, creating fully immersive and memorable experiences.
According to Markets and Markets It is projected to exceed the virtual reality market by year 2023, valued at 60.55 Billion USD.
Augmented Reality is “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world…”; essentially AR is a 3D animation that is overlaid on our view of the real world; think of how Snapchat filters augment facial features or how the Pokémon Go App augments digital Pokémon onto your phone screen in real time.
AR is a highly impactful platform encouraging consumers to engage with content more than a two-dimensional interface ever could.
According to media analytics company, Nielsen, Americans ingested 10 hours and 39 minutes of media per day last year. New technology is aiming to engage consumers throughout the 17.2 waking hours per day, and AR creates the opportunity for brands to communicate with their consumers around the clock.
Marketing and Advertising’s fundamental purpose is to tell stories to captivate consumers and influence them to move through the sales funnel. When AR is used as the primary channel to tell your brand story, it allows you to share deeper content because it is a more immersive platform.
AR is revolutionizing the way brands interact with their consumers. Currently AR can be experienced through applications on smart phones and select devices, but the future of AR is projected to be experienced through eyeglasses.
Grocery stores can highlight sale items and assist shoppers with locating ingredients for recipes. Cosmetic companies can create simulations for consumers to try on makeup, just as apparel companies can allow consumers to try on clothing and other accessories.
Automotive companies can turn any occasion into a merchandising experience for consumers to preview interior and exterior features. The possibilities are endless with AR, and every brand can utilize this channel to make engaging with their consumers more valuable.
When incorporating AR into print, not only does it encourage further engagement but it also extends the life of the printed piece. The technology has image recognition capability and is used to amplify the content on a printed piece; By adding an overlay of animated graphics, AR embeds information on a digital interface increasing the likelihood a consumer will hold on to the printed piece.
Another benefit of incorporating AR into print is it can significantly reduce the size of a printed piece. For example, packaging labels will not have to be as large because information can be digitally stored and presented to consumers; this serves a dual benefit as brands can update new product information without having to reprint packaging.
AR in manufacturing has improved the training and safety regulation aspects of the industry. It has allowed companies to create hours of work instructions in a fraction of the time and expense. New employees are trained more efficiently and as a result they work more effectively, reducing manufacturing assembly time. Companies are able to arm employees with guidelines, and engineers with proper procedures for error-less repairs.
AR has also expedited the sales cycle for purchasing large industrial equipment. Decision makers are able to virtually experience equipment at a 1:1 scale, and measure how a machine will fit in the company’s warehouse. Design and blueprinting are accelerated with no need for 3D prototypes. Setup times are significantly reduced for customers with access to an augmented tutorial. This is especially advantageous to companies doing business overseas.
Visit Tampa Bay
Right in our own backyard, AR is making an impact on the tourism market. Visit Tampa Bay’s Visitor’s guide features a completely augmented front cover of the beaches in the Tampa Bay Area. Users will experience countless destinations and attractions throughout the Bay Area.
The use of AR as a means to drive tourism has proved itself superior to various marketing channels, creating a multi-sensory story telling experience which leaves a lasting impression on potential visitors.
Arguably Snapchat is one of the leaders in the AR revolution alongside Niantic Labs the creator of the Pokémon Go App. With its launch in 2015, it was the first social media company that brought AR’s technology to the mainstream market. It has since turned into Snapchat’s most popular feature and revenue booster.
Unlike the Pokémon Go App, Snapchat has teamed up with brands like BMW and Taco Bell to reinvent the way they communicate with consumers. Taco Bell’s 2016 Cinco De Mayo campaign on Snapchat went viral with 224 million views in one day. The AR lens turned users heads into a giant taco shell, and was viewed for an average of 24 seconds, generating 12.5 years’ worth of play time, a record breaking high for Snapchat, and an eye opener for just how powerful AR can be when used in Marketing.
Google has created an App which can be downloaded onto your mobile device called, Google Lens. Users are able to experience augmentation on their view of the real world, most commonly for promotional sales, or new merchandise.
While the google lens is displaying features of a larger initiative. AR Glasses are the future of this new revolutionary marketing platform. AR glasses will allow brands to engage potential consumers around the clock and contact can be individually incentivized based on location, purchase history, and previously recorded patterns of buyer behavior. Shopping experiences with AR are enhanced by the data being collected in real time.
Amazon is at the forefront of the AR revolution. They have built the technology into their app which allows consumers to see a digital representation of what a product would look like in their home.
L’Oréal has jumped on the opportunity to become an early adopter of AR advertising. The company recently acquired ModiFace, a leading AR provider for the makeup industry, creating simulations for consumer’s to try on new cosmetic lines. L’Oréal intends to integrate the technology to its 34 brands.
Food industry clients including Kellogg’s and Campbells have integrated AR into their packaging to boost engagement and offer new recipes.
Only in its stages of infancy, the boundaries of AR continue to grow as does developer’s and designer’s ingenuity. The technology has proved itself to be a diverse platform that various industries can benefit from; to enhance marketing initiatives, extend the life of packaging, improve manufacturing training, and to leverage every opportunity as a merchandising experience for your target consumer.
If your company is considering incorporating AR into its marketing arsenal, give us a call at (727)–572-9999!